Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Tribute - Past Forward with Guruji and Amma - Mamata Niyogi Nakra

There are moments in one’s life when destiny smiles in the face of adversity. One such moment came in my life when I had an accident in1969, which left me with a permanent injury and brutally cut me off from performing Bharata Natya. Some of my well-wishers helped me to overcome the initial shock and despair by encouraging, to the point of coaxing and goading me, to teaching Bharata Natya in Montreal. “What a formidable task to undertake,” I thought at the time; but, as if by divine intervention, my gurus U.S. Krishna Rao and U.K. Chandrabhaga Devi (Guruji and Amma to me) appeared on the horizon just when I needed them most, to provide guidance and inspiration and above all, to help regenerate my passion for dance. 

The Rao couple was on a visit to North America in the spring of 1980 and accepted an invitation from me to come to Montreal. They gave a scintillating lecture demonstration on Bharata Natya, organized by the India Canada Association of Montreal, to a packed auditorium of over 500 captivated listeners. On that occasion, not only did they enlighten the Montrealers present on the intricacies and aesthetics of Bharata Natya, but also endorsed, with warmth and generosity of spirit, my humble efforts to start a dance school by agreeing to return to Montreal for an extended stay. It was a wonderful way to re-establish our contact and renew our ties which dated back to the late fifties when I had gone to Bangalore for advanced training in Bharata Natya after having earlier studied the art in Patna from one of their disciples, Guru Balakrishnan.

Read the tribute in the site

1 comment:

  1. What a respectful, heartfelt tribute to the legendary Gurus of the Pandanallur School of Bharata Natyam, Shri U.S. Krishna Rao and U.K. Chandrabhaga Devi by Mamata Niyogi Nakra. The blessings of her loving Gurus will always be there for her. I have written to her a couple of times but this article makes me want to visit her in Montreal. I know the warmth and sincerity of her Gurus will forever be seen in Mamata's productions and lessons she provides her youngsters. The blessings of the Gurus are crucial to the success of each and every undertaking in life. I too have been doing similar work through my Nritya Sudha's Hindu Temple Rhythms established in Windsor,Ontario,Canada by my parents, and my dear husband in 1968 to 1978 with Summer workshops in Fredericton,New Brunswick,and St.John's, Newfoundland Canada from 1980 till 2000. My activities later shifted to Oak Park, Michigan in 1978 where HTR has been doing pioneering work with the help of my parents, and my daughters. We too have been fortunate to receive the continued blessings of my esteemed Gurus of Bombay's Sri Rajarajeshwari Bharata Natya Kala Mandir with whom I began learning in 1945, and continue to gather more knowledge. I can relate to the love, respect, sincerity, and adoration Mamata has for her beloved Gurus. In clear, simple terms she has euologized the two beautiful souls that nurtured her passion for the art of Bharata Natyam and helped her establish her well known Kala Bharati Institute in Montreal. May your art prosper dear fellow artist Mamata Niyogi, and may our paths cross soon. Thank you Narthaki for publishing this all important tribute. Very best wishes,

    Radhe Krishna!

    Sudha Doraiswamy Chandrasekhar
    Nritya Sudha's Hindu Temple Rhythms
    Oak Park, Michigan, USA